Ridge War Z (2013) Review – What World War Z Was Not



Directed by Alek Gearhart Written by Alek Gearhart
Starring Tyler Allen, Alek Gearhart, Kyle Gordon, Manuel Eduardo Ramirez

89 mins - Zombie | War Drama - Release date: 5 November 2013

Ever since saying that Ridge War Z was a blatant knock-off of the film World War Z, I’ve been dying to see it. As a fan of the Max Brooks book, I feel like it’s my welcome duty to explore anything that might have a remote possibility of being an interpretation of the book.

I was rather disappointed with the outcome of World War Z the film, as was the majority of people who were fans of the book. Don’t get me wrong, by any other name it would have been a descent movie. Unfortunately, it had little to do with the story told by Brooks. And it’s in this sense that Ridge War Z is superior to the Brad Pitt film.

Sure, Ridge War Z doesn’t have the budget, the global scope, or the talent that World War Z had, but it did have a story that more closely resembled at least a part of Brooks’ book. that part being an oral history told through a journalist’s point of view.

In this film, we have a journalist, Eduardo Fonseca (Manuel Eduardo Ramirez) sitting in “the comfort of his own home” recounting the story told to him by the last three survivors from Gory Ridge. These four men took a trip to Gory Ridge three years after the battle so that Eduardo could better understand the day these three survivors faced the undead, or zulus.

There is horror violence in this film, and there are zombies, but the vibe here is much more aligned with a war drama, such as Full Metal Jacket or Apocalypse Now. It’s not a horror, and neither was World War Z. So, it’s yet another genre that the zombie genre has been cast in to find a sense of originality and taking yet another step away from the vision of Romero and other classics.

The Verdict:

If you were disappointed with World War Z, then you should see Ridge War Z. However, be warned that you may not enjoy this film if you’re unaccustomed to B-movie acting, expect flawless special effects, and want a fast-paced zombie horror film. What this film lacks in those departments, I think it more than makes up for in its originality and in capturing, at least in part, the toll that combat can take on soldiers. I'm giving this film three skulls for doing what a big-budget Hollywood film failed to do.

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